South America – Summary
In this post I write about
- Current situation
- How was South America
- What I experienced in South America
- Travel statistics
After many requests I will write an post in English. So this summary from South America fits best. And you can keep mistakes in writing and language 🙂
Pictures from people I met will follow on Facebook soon, but not here. 🙂
So, the moment has come to leave South America behind. I spent 11 months on this continent where I started my world trip. I never thought to spent 11 months here, though I had no travel plans. My “big” plan was to be in Mexico (after travelling through central America) in Novemeber/Decemeber… not a chance… I was still in Colombia when my Colombian Visa expired. To my disaster I spent 91 days instead of the prescribed 90 days so I had to pay an expensive penalty fee, what a goodbye present from South America, but yes my bad. 🙂
Basically it is not my final destination in South America. I booked a flight from Colombia (Cartagena) to Auckland. Know read carefully my mischievous friends. The actually flight were 4 separate flights.
- Cartagena >> New York City
- New York City >> Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi >> Hong Kong
- Hong Kong >> Auckland
Literally almost one week on planes and airports just for a good price. I just don’t get it how this can be the cheapest option. I mean I would have been travel around the whole world in 4 planes. My ecological footprint would have been terrible as f***. But yes, to my luck they cancel the flight :p so I was there without any plan what to do.
Why not going back to Chile where I spent already 3 months and visit “old” friends. Booked! I went back to Chile for two weeks and celebrated new year and christmas over there. My new flight to New Zealand will be the 10th of January, this post I write on the 26th of January though 🙂 And the good thing, I can stay at my friends hostel again, same room, same bed and I can visit Valparaiso where I haven’t been in Chile and as a result of this I got big time by other travelers :-p
So in Chile I was busy to visit old friends and just plan my trip to New Zealand. As everybody knows already, I hate planning, but New Zealand is pretty expensive and I have to book a flight out of the country as a prove of my leaving 🙂 what of course I didn’t do until I was at the airport 🙂
The weather was finally warm in Chile and new years eve in Valpo was a blast. The party was just on the streets and people with ochlophobia (just to use some smart words ;-)) wouldn’t have felt in safe hands there.
So the most interesting part in the new year was that I bought a fancy hairbrush for my meanwhile pretty long hair, many thanks to Lucy T. for the counsel which model I should buy for my curly hair, haha 😀
Ah I almost forgot… I decided to buy a campervan in New Zealand. I heard about the “travel busses” for very very young people in New Zealand but after a research I didn’t want to stay with those packed, super exited first time travelers, like the ones who thinks they have a shitload of life experiences and know how the world works :-p I don’t mean all of the very young travelers of course I met some nice first time travelers on this trip but just saying :-p
So a campervan it will be, hopefully… But this and my first days in New Zealand, are other stories in my next post, the first one then from New Zealand 🙂
How was South America?
It was not my first visit to South America though by far a longer stay than my trip 3 years ago in Peru and Bolivia. What I can say, surprise, surprise… It was an awesome “almost whole year” I spent there. I started my trip at the surfer place Floripa in Brazil and could see a travel friend from back home again. I traveled through the magnificent and diverse landscapes of Chile with a lot of lakes, mountains, the highlands and altiplano lagoons. With my first car ever, I drove on endless, beautiful roads in Argentina and tasted a lot of South American wine. I was fascinated about the indigenous culture in Peru and the local food over there. Saw one of the best wildlife spots in the whole world, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. And was nearly blown away from the kindliness of Colombian people.
For sure there is so much more to say about the stuff I enjoyed but I don’t want to write a book. The best experiences though I made so far were the people I met. Whether it were locals or other backpackers from all around the world. For example this Colombian family which I found through Couchsurfing. I wanted to stay just over night and then go on. I stayed for 1 week, got invited to a motor bike tour with the Bucaramanga motor bike club, got two perfectly fitted shirts from the family’s own tailor shop on top of that new jeans a t-shirt and 3 meals a day… After my polite refusal, that I can’t accept all those gifts they just say I should enjoy my trip and accept their hospitality without any hesitation :-).
What I experienced in South America
So many things I experienced which leaves my home country, Switzerland, in a bad light. I love Switzerland the country where I was born and raised and I would always go back there but if it comes to openness towards foreign people or let’s say other tourists/backpackers (not to mix political things up) Switzerland can cut a slice off this massive cake. And it leaves much to be desired when I heard (several times) “Kiran you are the first open minded swiss guy I met so far, the others or a lot of them were so boring or withdrawn”. I don’t say a person has to be super open minded and jumping around in circles every day but if I hear that, I kinda feel bad. Of course, that doesn’t count for all of my fellow countrymen but it is a “cliché” and why stereotypes exist? Because there is some truth in it. I don’t tell anybody anything new with that but that was an issue with which I was confronted quite a few times.
I never had any bad situations with locals or other backpackers. Especially the locals in South America where everywhere sooooo super friendly. They always ask you how you like their country, they invite you, they want to show you some special places like nice bars or introduce you to their other friends and so on. There are so many examples like the guy who just stopped working because I had this motor bike accident. He accompanied me to the next city, helped me with the hospital stuff because my Spanish is not perfect (but finally better then at the start of my trip 🙂 ) He even had to stay in town with me because it was too late for him to return home so we stayed in the same homestay, his boss was bloody pissed but hey that’s how it works there or let’s say in many places. Another thing was the barbecue with a Chilean friend and his family or the camp ground owners who helped us fixing our car…. to be continued on the rest of my trip, hopefully 😉
Something what was exhausting to explain where I came from (no not Israel, no not South America and Africa and the Orient…..) and that swiss german is (quite) different in comparsion to german :-p But now at least there are some people in the world with the knowledge what “Himmugüegeli” means 😉 Anyways I realized that this a funny word because in almost all languages/dialects this word is pretty different.
- Coleoptero (Spanish/Chile)
- Marienkäfer (German)
- Beruska (Czech)
- Pikapolonica (Slovenian)
- Vaquita de San Antonio (Spanish/Argentina)
- Coccinelle (French)
- Ugur Böcegi (Turkish)
- Lieveheersbeestie (Dutch)
- Mariquita (Spanish)
- Nyckelpiga (Swedish)
- Petaca (Spanish/Colombia)
- Ladybug/ladybird (English)
Yes travelling educates 😛 I learned even some weird english words like “queefing”, thank you “cards against humanity” 😀
Further more I met so many cool people from any possible country (yeah most people were germans and dutch) but that’s not a bad thing for me 😉 They just love to travel and I met plenty nice persons from my neighbour country.
The best example is this post about meeting people, which I write in New Zealand from Wellington where Rufus lives a Kiwi guy I met in Colombia 🙂
And I want to say special thanks to my long-term travel mates Mr. Allan and Mr. Fraser, Switzerland has still better chocolate than Belgium and my Scottish accent… I cannie tell but I guess its bruillant, sound eh? :-p
Just for fun I do gather some statistics from my trip and some figures are really weird… 11 months that’s a lot and of course a lot of stuff happens 🙂 And yes sometimes while travelling… some people just have to much time 😉
|Hostels I slept in||61|
|Nights I spent in the car||40|
|How many times I was in a boat||18|
|Hitchhikers I took with me||26|
|Persons met from how many different countries||32|
So for the future, once in a while I will try to write an post in english for all the travelers I met 🙂 But now, travelling continues and the culture will change dramatically, hello New Zealand at the other end of the world.
Nächster Post –> Neuseeland Teil #1